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Main GOP Senate field in New Hampshire battleground widens as top candidate enters race

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EXCLUSIVE: Vikram Mansharamani says his decision to launch a Senate campaign for the Republican nomination in the crucial state of New Hampshire was “deeply personal”.

Mansharamani, a businessman, economist and author who has spent decades advising business leaders and helping entrepreneurs, says he started thinking about running for office when he and his wife were “trying to ‘have a say in our daughter’s education’.

“The ‘experts’ told us they knew better – better than us as parents. And you know what, that’s what parents across the country are told. And it’s not just in education is in almost every walk of life. Sit down, shut up and do what the ‘experts’ say. Well, I disagree,” Mansharamani pointed out in a statement and a video announcing his Senate candidacy on Thursday, which were first shared nationally with Fox News.

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Mansharamani, whose parents immigrated from India, said he “runs to recreate and protect the promise of equal opportunity. I am lucky to be born in the United States. As the son of two working-class immigrants who came in search of a better life, I lived the American dream.”

But he lamented that “this land of opportunity that I have enjoyed is in danger of disappearing. I want to make sure that it will not be the same for our children and our grandchildren”.

Mansharamani, a first-time candidate, hopes to face former governor and first Democratic senator Maggie Hassan, who is running for office this year, in November.

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Pointing to his lackluster approval ratings, Republicans say Hassan is vulnerable and his seat is one of the GOP’s top targets for going from blue to red as they try to win back the Senate majority they lost. when Democrats swept both elections in Georgia in January 2021. But beating Hassan won’t be easy. She is used to winning tough elections and has amassed a campaign war chest of $7.5 million.

The race in New Hampshire is one of the few across the country midway through November that could decide which party controls the Senate next year.

Democratic Senator Maggie Hassan makes a stopover in Berlin, northern New Hampshire, April 7, 2021. The former governor and first female senator is running for re-election in 2022.
(Maggie Hassan re-election campaign)

National Republicans have spent much of 2021 massively recruiting popular GOP Gov. Chris Sununu to challenge Hassan. Sununu considered taking on his predecessor as governor, but announced in November that he would run in 2022 for re-election rather than the Senate.

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Mansharamani becomes the seventh declared Republican in the race. The current field includes retired Army Gen. Don Bolduc, who came second in the 2020 Senate Republican primary in New Hampshire, and launched his 2022 Senate bid days after the 2020 election. ; New Hampshire Senate Speaker Chuck Morse and former Londonderry City Manager Kevin Smith, who declared their candidacy in January; and libertarian-leaning cryptocurrency entrepreneur Bruce Fenton, who entered the race a few weeks ago.

Wendy Long, the GOP Senate candidate in 2012 and 2016 in the heavily blue state of New York – who received a bombardment from the Democratic Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand – and current Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer – recently moved to New Hampshire and is seriously considering competing in the race as well.

Candidates have until June 10 to submit their candidacy for the September 13 primary in New Hampshire.

Mansharamani, who has owned a home in New Hampshire since 2018 and moved to the Granite State full-time in 2020, is a resident of Lincoln, a town in the White Mountains in the northern part of the state.

Republican businessman Vikram Mansharamani declared his candidacy for the New Hampshire Senate on Thursday, April 21, 2022.
(Vikram Mansharamani’s Senate campaign)

He explained that he is “running because we need to make America strong again – at home and abroad. It’s time to contain this runaway inflation, restore energy independence, and bring supply chains and jobs back to America. We must invest in innovation and create the industries of the future here, and we must also project our strength abroad because, as we saw in Afghanistan, American weakness can destabilize the world. »

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But he added that he was “an optimist, and despite the challenges we face, I am confident that fresh thinking can get us back on track”.

Mansharamani is being advised by Mike Biundo, a longtime New Hampshire-based Republican consultant who advises GOP candidates across the country and who is a veteran of former President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. The campaign is also advised by Derek Dufrensne, who, along with Biundo, is a partner at consulting boutique Ascent Strategic, and Rob Varsalone, a longtime Republican strategist based in New Hampshire and veteran of former GOP campaigns. Sen. Kelly Ayotte.

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